Earlier this year, the Iowa Beef Industry Council in conjunction with the Iowa Cattleman's Association picked their choice for the place with what they deemed was the best burger in Iowa for 2016 - The Chuckwagon in Adair, IA. (Click here to see the Road Tips entry on The Chuckwagon.) However, one of the finalists on the list caught my eye, a place in the Des Moines area that I wasn't familiar with - BW's Burgers. When I did a little research on BW's Burgers, I soon realized that I needed to try the place. Coming back through Des Moines from Kansas City one day earlier this year, I stopped in to try a BW's burger.
What piqued my interest in BW's Burgers was when I found out that it was owned by Brad Waldron, the owner of the Rusty Duck in Dexter, IA - the 2012 winner of the Best Burger in Iowa award. (Click here to see the Road Tips entry on the Rusty Duck.) Waldron wanted to expand toward Des Moines - he started in the restaurant industry over 25 years ago working in Des Moines area restaurants - and when a space that housed the former Patty Pat's, a NW Iowa-style loose meat and hot dog joint that I reviewed here; and before that was the equally short-lived E.P. True Burger Cafe came open, he jumped on the place. BW's Burgers opened in May of 2015.
Coming up from Kansas City, I pulled off I-35 at the Mills Civic Parkway exit and made my way to the east to E.P. True Parkway. BW's Burger is located in a strip mall just to the west of the corner of E.P. True and Mills Civic Parkways. (see map) It was just after 1 p.m. when I walked into the place.
The decor had changed somewhat dramatically since it was Patty Pat's. Waldron installed a bar and there were a number of beer signs on the wall of the place. There were a couple three flat screen televisions on the walls. I found a table along the east wall and was given a menu. It was just past the noon rush, but more people came in while I was there.
Crystal was my server that day. She was a young lady with a friendly and quiet demeanor. She gave me a menu and I ordered up an Exile Brewing Company Ruthie to enjoy while I looked over the menu.
Of course, it's burgers, burgers and more burgers on the menu at BW's. They also have grilled chicken sandwiches, pork tenderloin sandwiches and a steak sandwich. Burgers served during the lunch hour are a manageable 8 ounces of ground steak trimmings, while the burgers served after 5 p.m. are 14 ounces, the same size of the burgers served at the Rusty Duck. Appetizers included onion rings and calamari, and they had a number of salads available made with Rusty Duck dressings.
On my initial visit, I just went with the basic cheeseburger - a lean burger topped with American cheese with pickles and onions. I got the steak fries as a side. The burger was thick, juicy and very flavorful. The bun was soft, spongy and delectable. A good bun makes a good burger and this was a very good bun. But the beef, alone, was worth the price of admission. The ground steak trimmings they use for the burgers at both BW's and the Rusty Duck make the overall taste exquisite. This was an very good burger.
The steak fries, too, were very good. They looked a little overcooked when they were presented on the plate, but they had a nice crunchy outer shell with a light and flaky inner core. They went very well with the great taste of the burger.
To be quite honest, I think I liked the burger at BW's better than the 2016 Best Burger in Iowa award winner over in Adair. For just a simple cheeseburger, it was definitely top-notch. The beef was juicy and flavorful, and the buns they use are an integral part of their excellent burger. The fries were also very good and I was happy with both the service I received and the craft beer selections they had to offer. I'm hoping that BW's Burgers lasts much longer in this spot than the previous restaurants. With the quality taste of their burgers, I'm almost certain it will.